Excitation via Controlled Energy Deposition Experiment
SDL designed EXCEDE III to determine reactions and measure infrared radiance produced in the upper atmosphere by controlled dosing. SDL built the electron accelerator package, optical photometers for the mother payload, a nitrogen-cooled IR interferometer, an image intensified star sensor for attitude measurement, and an intensified television camera system.
The mission objective was to measure infrared spectral radiance of atmospheric emissions from the atmosphere dosed by electron beam, and measure the background emissions when the beam was off. Data was used to better understand nonlinear atmospheric chemical processes to upgrade Air Force atmospheric models. The electron energy density deposition rate was designed to be orders of magnitude greater than any natural process such as an aurora and to be comparable to those in a nuclear environment in order to understand the non-linear excitation processes.